10 February 2013 | kitten-calfee
Victory over the Prudes in James Broughton's "The Pleasure Garden" (1953)
"The Pleasure Garden" by James Broughton is a joyous musical fantasy celebrating Love in the Park. In this award-winning film the pleasure principle wins a sweet victory over all prudes and killjoys. Filmed in the United Kingdom in the ruins of The Crystal Palace Terraces, The Pleasure Garden is a playful and poetic ode to desire, and winner of the Prix de Fantasie Poétique at Cannes in 1954. The film features Hattie Jaques and Lindsay Anderson, with John Le Mesurier as the bureaucrat determined to stamp on any form of free expression.
Lovers of the history of Crystal Palace will find much to treasure in this 1950s time capsule of a film, which shows the Crystal Colonnade and the bandstand (both later demolished), the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Memorial, and much of the statuary which was to be auctioned off in 1957.
WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT "The Pleasure Garden" "In Chaplin, Rene Clair, Buster Keaton, Jacques Tati we enjoy on a big scale the fruits of the poetic turned comic. Broughton is of their kind, except that he holds more strongly to feeling, makes short cuts they daren't, sees and sings out of himself, and never dilutes a joke or a movement. THE PLEASURE GARDEN thus combines the pleasure of Keystone with the love lyric. It springs like the lark, and mingles oddity, grace, satire, and laughter without a dead moment." – Sight and Sound "It's on the side of the angels. It's a great testimony for Love." – Allen Ginsberg